Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Histofluorescence of monoamines in newt forelimb regenerates


Newt forelimb regenerates were studied at various stages of development using the histofluorescent method of Falck and Hillarp. A green formaldehyde-induced fluorescence was found in nerve fibres, large dendritic cells, skin gland cells and skin gland cell secretions. To ascertain the nature of the fluorescent material, animals were submitted to treatments with L-dopa, nialamide, benserazide and reserpine, used separately or in combination and administered before cutting off the regenerates. The modifications of the fluorescence after the various treatments confirmed the monoaminic nature of the fluorophores. Catecholaminic fibres were numerous in tissues of fast-growing stages while in dedifferentiated cell areas as well as in prochondral cell condensations and in cartilage they were completely absent. Fluorescent dendritic cells that have never been described before in regenerating limbs were observed and, from their localisation and cytological appearance, classed as promelanophores (or melanoblasts).

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Balter, N.J., Schwartz, S.L.: Accumulation of norepinephrine by macrophages and relationships to known uptake processes. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther.201, 636–643 (1977)

  2. Bryant, S.V., Fyfe, D., Singer, M.: The effects of denervation on the ultrastructure of young limb regenerates in the newt,Triturus. Dev. Biol.24, 577–595 (1971)

  3. Connelly, T.: A relationship between growth, developmental stage and postamputation age of the regeneration blastema of the newt,Notophthalmus viridescens. J. Exp. Zool.199, 33–40 (1977)

  4. Erspamer, V.: Biogenic amines and active polypeptides of the amphibian skin. Ann. Rev. Pharmacol.11, 327–350 (1971)

  5. Falck, B.: Observations on the possibilities of the cellular localization of monoamines by a fluorescent method. Acta Physiol. Scand. 56 Suppl.197, 1–25 (1962)

  6. Falck, B., Hillarp, N., Thieme, G., Torp, A.: Fluorescence of catecholamines and related compounds condensed with formaldehyde. J. Histochem. Cytochem.10, 348–354 (1962)

  7. Falck, B., Owman, Ch.: A detailed methodological description of the fluorescence method for the cellular demonstration of biogenic monoamines. Acta Univ. Lund, Sectio II7, 1–23 (1965)

  8. Friedman, D.L.: Role of cyclic nucleotides in cell growth and differentiation. Physiol. Rev.56, 652–708 (1976)

  9. Goodman, L.S., Gilman, A.: The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 5th ed. New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., Inc. 1975

  10. Iten, L.E., Bryant, S.V.: Forelimb regeneration from different levels of amputation in the newt,Notophthalmus viridescens: lenght, rate, and stages. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv173, 263–282 (1973)

  11. Jabaily, J.A., Singer, M.: Neurotrophic stimulation of DNA synthesis in the regenerating forelimb of the newtTriturus. J. Exp. Zool.199, 251–256 (1977)

  12. Kokolis, N., Mylonas, N., Ziegler, I.: Pteridine and riboflavin patterns during tail regeneration inTriturus species and the effects of chloramphenicol, isoxanthopterin and reserpine. Z. Naturforsch.27b, 285–291 (1972)

  13. Lebowitz, P., Singer, M.: Neurotrophic control of protein synthesis in the regenerating limb of the newt,Triturus. Nature225, 824–827 (1970)

  14. Olson, L., Ungerstedt, U.: A simple high capacity freeze-drier for histochemical use. Histochemie22, 8–19 (1970)

  15. Paul, E., Illig, L.: Melanin-producing dendritic cells and histogenesis of malignant melanoma. Arch. Derm. Res.257, 163–177 (1976)

  16. Prunieras, M.: Relations entre mélanocytes et cellules malpighiennes. In: La culture de l'épiderme (M. Prunieras, ed.) Paris: S.P.E.I. 1965

  17. Rost, F.W.D., Polak, J.M., Pearse, A.G.E.: The cytochemistry of normal and malignant melanocytes, and their relationship to cells of the endocrine polypeptide (APUD) series. In: Pigment Cell. Vol. 1, Mechanisms in Pigmentation (V.J. McGovern and P. Russell, eds.) Basel: S. Karger 1973

  18. Schmidt, A.J.: Carbohydrate metabolism. In: Cellular biology of Vertebrate Regeneration and Repair (A.J. Schmidt, ed.) Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press 1968

  19. Schotté, O.E.: Le grand sympathique-élément essentiel de l'influence du système nerveux sur la régénération des pattes de tritons. C.R. SPHN Genève39, 137–139 (1923)

  20. Sicard, E.R., Dinicola, F.A.: Retardation of progressive forelimb regeneration by treatment with neuropharmacological agents. Oncology30, 442–447 (1974)

  21. Singer, M.: The sympathetics of the brachial region of the urodele,Triturus. J. Comp. Neurol.76, 119–143 (1942a)

  22. Singer, M.: The nervous system and regeneration of the forelimb of adultTriturus. I. The role of the sympathetics. J. Exp. Zool.90, 377–399 (1942b)

  23. Singer, M.: The influence of the nerve in regeneration of the amphibian extremity. Q. Rev. Biol.27, 169–200 (1952)

  24. Singer, M.: A theory of the trophic nervous control of amphibian limb regeneration, including a re-evaluation of quantitative nerve requirements. In: Regeneration in Animals and related problems (V. Kiortsis, and H.A.L. Trampusch, eds.) Amsterdam: North-Holl. Publ. Co. 1965

  25. Singer, M.: Neurotrophic control of limb regeneration in the newt. Ann. NY Acad. Sci.228, 308–321 (1974)

  26. Singer, M., Craven, L.: The growth and morphogenesis of the regenerating forelimb of adultTriturus following denervation at various stages of development. J. Exp. Zool.108, 279–308 (1948)

  27. Sjöberg, E.: Monoaminergic fluorescence in frog skin. Acta Physiol. Scand.100, 452–456 (1977)

  28. Swan, J.A.: Current knowledge of melanin structure. In: Pigment Cell vol. I, Mechanisms in Pigmentation (V.J. McGovern, and P. Russell, eds.). Basel: S. Karger 1973

  29. Taban, C.H.: Quelques problèmes de régénération chez les urodèles. Rev. Suisse Zool.62, 387–468 (1955)

  30. Taban, C.H., Cathieni, M., Constanidis J.: Production of retarded, albino, regenerates in newts by alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine. J. Exp. Zool.197, 423–427 (1976)

  31. Taban, C.H., Cathieni, M., Schorderet, M.: Cyclic AMP and noradrenaline sensitivity fluctuations in regenerating newt tissue. Nature271, 470–472 (1978)

  32. Taban, C.H., Canstantinidis, J., Cathieni, M., Guntern, R.: Présence de catécholamines dans le nerf et le blastème de triton, observée à l'histofluorescence. Acta Anat.99, 234 (1977)

  33. Thornton, C.S.: Amphibian limb regeneration and its relation to nerves. Am. Zool.10, 113–118 (1970)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Taban, C.H., Cathieni, M., Guntern, R. et al. Histofluorescence of monoamines in newt forelimb regenerates. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv 185, 79–94 (1978).

Download citation

Key words

  • Monoamines
  • Histofluorescence
  • Regeneration
  • Newt